Investing Money: Good Investments For the Investor Who Feels Clueless

In 2011 and into the future most folks in search of good investments will again turn to mutual funds for investing money, and for good reason. These funds do the money investing for you and try to pick good investments for their (your) portfolio. It’s your money and you pick the funds, so in case you feel clueless, here we take the mystery out of investing for 2011 and beyond by getting back to basics.

In the process of investing money for the future you really only have 4 basic choices. That was true 100 years ago and still applies in 2011 and beyond. There are good safe investments that pay interest, bonds that pay more interest, stocks that grow in value most of the time; and alternative investments like gold & other commodities including real estate that offer growth opportunities sometimes when stocks don’t. Those are your basic choices when investing money unless you bury the stuff, in which case inflation and decomposition can eat away at your underground deposit.

Now let’s look at each of these 4 alternatives for investing money in search of good investments in mutual funds. Cash in the bank is safe and so are money market securities. These don’t look like good investments now because interest rates are near all-time lows. That won’t always be the case, so put some money in money market funds for safety.

Bond funds are a good way for most folks to invest money in bonds and they do pay higher interest income, but they are not really safe investments as most folks have been lead to believe. When today’s record low interest rates start to go up, most bonds and the funds that invest your money in them will be real losers. Memorize this statement: when rates go up bond prices (values) go down. The key to investing money in bond funds for 2011 and beyond is this: put money in short-term and intermediate-term bonds funds while avoiding long-term bond funds. The latter will get crushed if (when) interest rates turn around and go up.

Stocks are our third category, and stock mutual funds are the best way of investing money in them for average and especially clueless investors. The truth is that for 2011 and beyond this is the wild card. High unemployment and slow growth in the economy don’t paint a pretty picture here, but the other choices don’t look great either. Put some money in dividend-paying high-quality diversified stock funds. Avoid riskier growth funds that invest money in stocks that don’t pay dividends.

Investors who overlook other alternatives miss some good investments because of this oversight. Investing money in the likes of gold, oil, real estate and basic materials is greatly simplified by simply investing in specialty stock funds that specialize in these areas. The advantage here: these funds can add additional diversification to your portfolio because they sometimes produce profits when the stock market is weak.

We have covered your 4 basic choices starting with safe investments and getting progressively riskier. Investing money for 2011 and beyond simply amounts to covering all 4 bases, emphasizing the funds that best fit your risk profile. One year’s good investments might not be repeat performers the next year, but with a diversified portfolio of funds working for you you’ve got good odds for success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *